Imran Khan is using ‘US card’ for domestic gains, says a former American official

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Lisa Curtis. Photo Twitter @LisaCurtisDC

Pakistan’s embattled Prime Minister Imran Khan is using the “US card” to bolster his “domestic [support] base”, a top former US government official said, refuting Khan’s “foreign conspiracy” claim and adding that the US stays out of the country’s internal politics.

After losing the support of many of his lawmakers, Khan’s government had recommended the dissolution of the house without voting on the no-confidence motion, alleging that opposition parties had collided with “foreign powers” to oust him. Later, he named the US – specifically a US State Department – as being behind the conspiracy.

“It’s highly unlikely that any US official would get involved in Pakistan’s internal politics,” Lisa Curtis, who had served as Director for South and Central Asia at the US National Security Council during the Trump Administration, was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune.

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Curtis, who had also served in the Bush administration, said, “I think Imran Khan is trying to play the ‘US card’ to build up support from his base.”

Khan had alleged that it was Donald Lu, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, who had made threatening statements, alluding to a regime change, during his talks with then Pakistan envoy to Washington Asad Majeed Khan.

“US officials are very careful to stay out of the country’s internal politics so this is something that Imran Khan has concocted to build up his support from his base,” Curtis said.

Significantly, Reuters also reported, citing a senior Pakistan military official, that they have not found any “credible evidence” of the complaint of “foreign conspiracy” or “regime change”. However, despite growing clamor, the military has not issued any official statement in this regard.

Mariyam Nawaz Sharif, a key opposition leader from the Pakistan Muslim League-N, on Tuesday, termed the letter Khan had cited as evidence of foreign conspiracy as “fake”.

“This letter, which Imran Khan waved in the rally, has no origin, and it is fake…..The letter did not mention any conspiracy,” Mariyam said in a press conference on Tuesday and asked the military.

She went further and asked the military to come forward and expose the truth behind the conspiracy propagated by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

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